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Central Oversight Body (COB)

Relevancy

  • G.S. Paper 2

Why in news?

  • The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has set up a central oversight body (COB) recently.

Central oversight body (COB):

  • Central oversight body (COB) has been set up under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
  • It is made to ensure use of videography at crime scenes and video-recording of statements of witnesses in an effort to prevent botch-up at the crime scene and hostile witnesses, particularly in high-profile cases.
  • The COB will be headed by Rina Mitra, Special Secretary (Internal Security) at MHA.
  • Tampering of evidence at the crime scene in cases such as Jessica Lall murder, Aarushi-Hemraj double murder and the recent murder of a boy from Gurgaon’s Ryan International School, among others, resulted in either acquittal or framing of innocent people.
  • States will introduce digital cameras and establish secured portals, and investigation officers can email photographs taken at the crime scene to these portals.
  • To give authenticity and prevent manipulation, digital images can be retained on state’s server as permanent record.
  • The state server can re-mail the digital files back to the police station for further use.
  • Smartphones will be used until this is done.
  • The MHA has also suggested that the states set up an oversight mechanism, an independent committee to study CCTV footage installed to check human rights abuse at police stations.

Himalayan Trillium

 

Relevancy

  • G.S. Paper 3

 

Why in news?

  • The Himalayan trillium is in danger of local extinction in India

 

Himalayan trillium:

  • A common herb of the Himalayas, the Himalayan trillium, could soon go locally extinct in many parts of its range in India if its excessive harvests are not regulated.
  • The Himalayan trillium is found across India, Bhutan, Nepal and China.
  • It is a natural source of steroidal saponins which are important components of steroidal drugs.
  • The plant is popular in traditional Chinese medicine.
  • Increased demands over the last decade has made its illegal collection from the wild a rather lucrative business in India: a kilogram fetches about Rs.3,000-5,000.
  • The current gathering practices are entirely destructive as a single team uproots all plants in an area lest other collecting teams get to them later.
  • The trilliums growing mostly in moist hill slopes with dense tree cover.
  • Mature plants (which can live to 30 years or more) usually produce only one flower per year and vegetative reproduction through tubers occurs only in very old plants.
  • Unregulated harvests combined with such low levels of reproduction and other pressures like grazing could cause local extinction of the plant in many regions.

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